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Celebrity news for the week of April 20, 2007

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BIRTH
Guitarist Isaac Hanson, 26, the eldest member of Hanson, and wife Nicole, 23, welcomed their first child, son Clarke Everett, on April 3.

MARRIED
Scrubs‘ John C. McGinley, 47, wed yoga teacher Nichole Kessler, 34, April 7, in Malibu, Calif.

SPLIT
On April 10, Gretchen Bonaduce, 41, filed for divorce from Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family), 47. The couple, whose relationship woes were recently broadcast on VH1’s Breaking Bonaduce, have been married since 1990.

DELAYED
Fall Out Boy’s tour has been postponed due to ”personal issues,” according to a band statement on April 6. They’ll instead hit the road on May 11, and missed dates will be bumped to the end of the tour.

RE-SIGNED
Tim Gunn, 53, has finalized a deal to continue counseling the contestants on Bravo’s Project Runway for the show’s fourth season, which begins later this year.

DESTROYED
The house that belonged to late country singers Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash was razed in an April 10 fire. The Hendersonville, Tenn., property, purchased last year by the Bee Gees’ Barry Gibb, was the couple’s home for 35 years, until their deaths in 2003. At press time, authorities had not determined the cause of the fire.

COURTS
On April 4, an Orange, Calif., judge awarded Whitney Houston, 43, custody of Bobbi Kristina, 14, her daughter with singer Bobby Brown, 38. The couple’s divorce will be finalized on April 24, but Brown’s lawyer plans to appeal the custody ruling…. Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis, 34, was arrested April 10 at the Panama City, Fla., airport after he failed to turn himself in for a contempt-of-court charge. That edict came following Francis’ obscenity-laced rant on March 21 during settlement talks for a suit that alleged he exploited seven underage girls in his videos…. Kevin Costner, 52, sued music promoter Mahee Worldwide Ventures on April 3 in L.A. for $4 million. The actor claims that the company breached contract by failing to publicize his country-rock group, the Kevin Costner Band. Mahee could not be reached for comment…. On April 10, an L.A. judge ruled that Devra Robitaille can testify against her ex-boss, music producer Phil Spector, 67, who is on trial for the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson. In court papers, Robitaille claims Spector pointed a gun at her head two times in the ’70s and ’80s. Jury selection is expected to resume April 16…. On April 4, Gary Friedrich, a creator of the Ghost Rider character, sued Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marvel Enterprises for an undisclosed amount. The comic-book writer claims that the companies, which released a film version of Ghost Rider starring Nicolas Cage in February, failed to get permission to use his character. ”His claim of rights to Ghost Rider is without merit,” says a Marvel rep. Sony did not return calls for comment.

RECOVERING
At press time, Tony Bennett, 80, who canceled his April 4 American Idol appearance due to the flu, was expected to be back on his feet for an April 13 show in Las Vegas.

REVEALED
DNA tests released on April 10 have determined that photographer Larry Birkhead, 34, is the father of Dannielynn, the 7-month-old daughter of Anna Nicole Smith, who died Feb. 8. The infant, currently in state custody, could inherit Smith’s share of the $1.6 billion estate of her late spouse, oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall.

DEATHS
Ex-Kiss guitarist Mark St. John, 51, of a brain hemorrhage, April 5, in Garden Grove, Calif…. Character actor John P. Ryan (Bound, Five Easy Pieces), 70, of a stroke, March 20, in L.A…. Calvin Lockhart, 72, most famous for starring in blaxploitation films like Cotton Comes to Harlem, of a stroke, March 29, in Nassau, Bahamas…. Former ABC Television president Tom Moore, 88, of congestive heart failure, March 31, in Palm Springs, Calif…. Writer, producer, and director Burt Topper (The Day the Lord Got Busted), 78, of pulmonary failure, April 3, in L.A…. Actor Edward Mallory, 76, best known as Bill Horton on Days of Our Lives, of natural causes, April 4, in Salisbury, Pa.


LEGACY

Johnny Hart (1931-2007)
The creator of popular comic strip B.C. and co-creator of The Wizard of Id, Hart died April 7 of a stroke at the very storyboard where he drew his sarcastic cavemen for millions of readers nationwide. Friend and Beetle Bailey writer Brian Walker says Hart was impish and influential. ”In the late ’50s there was a real change coming —this acerbic, very dry, witty sense of humor,” he recalls. ” B.C. was the quintessential strip of that era.” — Simon Vozick-Levinson

Bob Clark (1939-2007)
The director of such ’80s favorites as A Christmas Story and Porky‘s, Clark, 67, and his son, Ariel Hanrath-Clark, 22, were killed April 4 in Pacific Palisades, Calif., in a head-on car collision. (The other driver, Hector Velazquez-Nava, has pleaded not guilty to two charges of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.) A New Orleans native, Clark began his career with horror flicks (like 1974’s Black Christmas) before making two future comedy classics — 1982’s Porky‘s and 1983’s Story — in two years. ”Bob was a man of great humor and loyalty,” said Porky‘s star Kim Cattrall, who also worked with Clark on 1999’s Baby Geniuses. ”Many actors have him to thank for their start in this business.” — Linday Soll


Who’s the boss? Salma Hayek.
First, she conquered acting. Then she became the exec producer of a hit TV show (ABC’s Ugly Betty). Now Salma Hayek can add movie-studio mogul to her résumé. On April 9, the Mexican-born Frida star, 40, announced a deal with MGM to create Ventanazul — an imprint that will acquire and develop two to four $5-25 million-range films a year, using Latin actors and crews or addressing Latin themes. (Hayek will serve as president and CEO, while fellow Betty exec producer Jose Tamez will be president of production.) ”There is a tremendous amount of talent in this community that hasn’t had the opportunity to make movies at this level,” notes MGM COO Rick Sands, ”nor with studio marketing and distribution behind it.” — Nicole Sperling

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